16 Jan 2010 19:21

Russian nuclear plant unit back in service as defect removed

MOSCOW. Jan 16 (Interfax) - Generating Unit No. 1 of the Volgodonsk Nuclear Power Plant was plugged back into Russia's national grid on Saturday after the removal of a steam generator pipe defect that brought the plant to a standstill on January 10, the Rosenergoatom company said, adding that the unit's current operation posed no safety risk.

"The degree of radiation at the plant and surrounding territory has remained unchanged and is at the level of natural background magnitudes," Rosenergoatom said in a press release.

The unit's reactor was halted by personnel with permission from the System Operator of the Unified Energy System after the steam generator malfunction was spotted.

The event was said to meet level zero, "Deviation," on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), a "below-scale" event of no safety significance.